The first impression most have of West China is that it remains underdeveloped. While there is a huge economic gap between west and east, tourism in China’s western regions is on track to catch up with that in the east, industry analyst Li Guo told the 21st Century Business Herald.
According to Li, the tourism industry grew in western regions more rapidly than in the east from 2010 to 2018, a trend that reflects government policy support, improved transport and industrial transformation.
One of the main policies is “the development of China’s western regions,” which aims to take advantage of surplus capacity in the east to improve economic and social development in western areas. The policy helps develop not only western regions' economy but also their tourism resources and the tourism industry.
Improved transport like high-speed rail also helps in attracting tourists from around the country to western tourist destinations.
Also, local governments are increasingly focused on developing tourism as a part of their areas’ industrial transformations. For instance, Southwest China’ Chongqing, has invested in campaigns geared to attract younger tourists with culture-focused tourism.
Li predicted that cultural tourism will be an important trend for development soon.